everything + August

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09 August 2019


1. I think I'll just have to dub this the summer of the blog post draft since I started and didn't finish many a post but overall it's been a good summer off-screen so I'll take that over a good blog summer any ....  summer. While we didn't do anything wild and crazy the summer still felt like it flew by and I think I was even more surprised than the kids were to realize that school starts next week. We've all gotten accustomed to sleeping in way past school start time so the mornings are going to be rough - to put it mildly.

2. Last weekend we road tripped up to the Quad Cities for my cousin Peter's wedding. While it was a LOT of driving for not a lot of time not spent in the car - we had so much fun. The kids absolutely loved getting to be apart of the wedding reception and I think ring bearer Theo made a lifelong friend in the flower girl - it was really sweet. It was fun seeing the old haunts Simon and I would visit growing up and it was fun driving by our grandparents old homes and realizing we'd become our parents driving our kids by houses that mean almost nothing to us but I digress. Simon and I listened to this book on the way back and I don't recommend it at all. Ha! But! It did help pass the time and drown out the fighting in the way back of the bus.

3. Speaking of books I read Evvie Drake Starts Over and LOVED it and then moved on over to Ask Again, Yes and could not put it down. It was a very engaging story and unlike anything I'd ever read. I don't know - I'd recommend it albeit cautiously because it's pretty heavy. I'm in the middle of The Most Fun We Ever Had and it's not the best book I've ever read. I'm not finished yet though SO - we'll see!

4. I should dedicate a whole blog post to this but with my recent track record I probably won't but I went on the whirlwind trip of a lifetime two weeks ago and got to go to the live Bachelorette Finale (night uno)!! It was amazing and surreal and I could type so much about the whole experience. It was all thanks to Mary of the I Just Wanna Chat podcast and we did talk about our experience on her most recent podcast if you want to take a listen. She is a real life angel and I'll forever be indebted to her. I got to see some other California friends too (HUGE thanks to Meg for her incredible hospitality) which was the icing on the cake. Simon insisted that I go even after we found out I had a ticket the day before I flew out and he held down the fort with the help of some sitters and he wins Patton spouse of the year. Better luck to me nest year. Anyway some quick takeaways: the studio is a lot smaller than it seems on TV, I never got the Peter appeal on the show but IRL he has a lot more of a presence (so tall!) and Hannah's interest in him made more sense to me, and I knew but didn't fully grasp how many moving parts are going on behind the scenes with the crew and the set and the producers etc etc - it was so fun to see after watching the show for SO many years. That's all. For now.

5. Tough to transition from so much excitement (ha!) but I keep meaning to mention this and now I am!! A few years ago a kind reader told me about this discount code finder and it's still working like a money saving charm to me. I thought I was the last person to find out about it but just in case I'm not - had to share.

6. The only thing I bought during the Nordstrom Sale was this sweater which might seem boring (because it is) but I've found that staples make my closet go round and I love the fit/length and that it's not super heavy or bulky. I also bought this dress for my brother's wedding but returned it because the zipper was broken even though I really loved it and wish it was still on sale and not out of stock. Boo. (hmm light blue version here and floral version here though - thanks Google! still not on sale though!)

7. I took major advantage of this buy one get one 1/2 off sale for school shoes and wedding shoes for the kids. I read rave reviews about these shoes and it's rare to find matching shoes for all four of the walking boys - dreams do come true.

And now I'm off to get these going - fingers crossed I don't ruin them!

7/11 on the 12th

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12 July 2019


Simon + Abe taking in Sebastian's last baseball game of the season.

1. The kids have started to notice the back to school ads lurking around and while it still feels a long way out - it's just about a month away! Crazy but ... not. Just as I'm starting to think maybe all the kids have summer shoes that fit and gotten most of their winter clothing out of their drawers - school will be coming round the mountain, won't it? If you'd like me to make apt and obvious observations about anything - anything at all! Let me know - I'll be here all day/night.

2. So I finally finished The Lake House and while I felt like it really dragged on and then the ending was a little abrupt and too "neatly tied in a perfect bow" for my taste - I find myself really missing the characters and the book as a whole so - I think I would recommend it. Ha. I also read Dear Mrs. Bird for book club and it was unexpectedly delightful. You know when you start casting the potential movie roles to certain actors/actresses - the author has done a good job. I've moved onto Summer of '69 and while it's not my favorite Elin Hildebrand book - its far from my least favorite and it really is the quintessential "beach/backyard by the baby pool" book.

3. A John Francis update! He got a new heart! While I'm not personally at the hospital with him it sounds as though he's doing and feeling well! The road to recovery is long and not easy but thank you so much for all of your prayers!! His siblings are here in town for a visit and my kids are in absolute heaven getting to spend time with them. A summer highlight? For sure.

4. Alright - it's down to the final four on Hannah's season and Lauren did the best job recapping last week. She makes me laugh so hard. I'm Team Tyler Forever but if she doesn't pick him and he goes on to be the Bachelor? Lose/Win.

5. For a long, long time (my entire motherhood?) I've sung the praises of these sound machines. And while I still love them I bought this one because it was on sale and now I'm finding that I like my mistress sound machine more than I thought I loved my steady betties? Wild life, be mine. Abe can suddenly sleep through a pack of wild elephants (the older kids + friends) tromping through the house during his afternoon nap which is not a testament to how deep he sleeps because he doesn't but I think it's the sound machine, I do.

6. It seems as though some retailers might be trying to keep up with the infamous Sale of the SEASON because Madewell is doing a rare 30% off sale styles sale, tons of things are on sale over at ye old LOFT, J.Crew is running a 40% off everything sale, and Hanna Andersson is doing a 25% off sale.

7. And while the inventory is slightly different I think that the deals over at this Black Friday sale - (vacuum steal!! for example) are quite a bit better than aforementioned sale. But, that's just ME.

have a great weekend!!

some more summer

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23 June 2019


I have to watch Phoebe around Clement closer than I watch Abe because she picks him up and all but totes him around like a rag doll. All day.

1. A month into summer break and it's finally feeling like SUMMER summer with the hot and muggy weather. The kind of weather where you feel like you've earned the pool. I love it. I should probably get the boys those fancy foam stroller clip-on fans (anyone have one they love?) because I could go on long walks with them but also don't want to be cruel as not everyone loves sweating like a pig in the heat of the day like I do.

2. Nothing new to report on the book front because I'm still reading and enjoying The Lake House. I know I'll be sad when it's over because Kate Morton always has some crazy twists at the end of her books that make you want to reread them from a different perspective - I won't but I'll be tempted. One of my favorite authors just released a new book and that is very much up next on the docket for me.

3. Too much to cover as far as Bachelor Nation goes this week (despite the weird half episode they threw us on Monday) but I'm still team Tyler C all the way and wish never had to see or hear from Luke P ever again. Lauren Zima killed it once again this week!

4. Alright, I have to share this ice cream cake recipe because if I can make it and have it turn out and taste amazing - then anyone can and you DEFINITELY should. I added graham cracker crumbs and plastic dinosaurs to the top for Abe and Bosco's birthdays and used store bought fudge but used her whipped cream recipe AND swapped vanilla for chocolate ice cream but other than that (ha) - the directions were pretty perfect. I might've waited 10 full minutes to cut the cake because the oreo crust didn't want to budge initially in it's very frozen state. Make it! If you want!

5. Huge thanks to Kari who let me know that the dress I wished would go on sale in fact DID go on sale. Wedding season, here it comes (as long as it fits!).

6. This romper would be cute on a boy or a girl and even though it's not on SALE sale - if you sign up for their emails and get the 15% off - that helps. And these shortalls are adorable and could be worn with tons of different shirts or onesies to change up the look - Clement might wear it to church nine Sundays in a row and no one would ever know (except you).

7. Hanna Andersson is having an insane sale ($42 dresses marked down to $10 - and more!), 50% off so many things (swim! shorts! activewear!) at Old Navy for 2 days only, and J.Crew is having a one day flash sale (40% off your purchase with code: BIG)!

Have a wonderful Sunday -- and beyond!

summering

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09 June 2019


1. We're a solid two weeks into summer break and I think the kinks are slowly working themselves out as we find our groove and routine with the few scheduled activities we have on our plate. The kids are loving life and I'm trying to let my Fun Mom flag fly more than I usually do. The pool has been a welcome addition and we've mostly mastered biking/strollering around the neighborhood as a semi cohesive unit. Is the house messier than ever and has dinner been a lot of the formerly frozen variety? Yes and yes. Baby steps summertime mastery, baby steps.

2. I've decided at almost 6 months postpartum that I need some exercise outside the house without the kids (need is a strong word - "would like" is more appropriate) and decided that getting up and going to a class at 5am is the best move for now. I'm a mere two days in and I can barely walk down the stairs because I'm already so sore SO - we'll see how strong my resolve is these next few weeks/months. I'm not a morning person but I really want to be a morning person so - carpe now. I've been loving these especially because they were on sale but am oh so intrigued by these and all their high waisted glory too.

3. I started The Lakehouse last week as I thought I might but devoured both The Last Mrs. Parrish and Ghosted. Ghosted was SO good. The Last Mrs. Parrish kept me up late and reading but ultimately was kind of just okay. I'm tempted by The Dinner List next but will finish - The Lakehouse first (I'm really enjoying it I'm just easily distracted it when it comes to books and um, everything else).

4. Alright - I know it's a total cliché and I'm eating out of the producer's hands but I'm suddenly team Tyler C all the way. I was a skeptic but no more! I don't even want to waste my breath/finger muscles on the Lukes (plural) drama but my distant second and third place guys are Pete the Pilot and Garrett. I'm not the biggest fan of Jed but will be happily proven wrong as the season progresses. If you're not watching Lauren Zimas Roses and Rosé recaps - you're missing OUT because she's hilarious.

5. I'm a little (or a lot, probably) old to feel any nostalgia about the Jonas Brothers big comeback because I just don't remember them being a big deal (what was I doing? I don't know) but I coerced Simon into watching their new documentary with me and we didn't hate it! I'm rooting for them even though Sucker isn't my favorite song (but Rollercoaster is!).

6. I couldn't resist ordering this Amazon dress that Kendi wore this past week - and I LOVE it. (I'm 5' 7" and the medium hits me just above the knee) Super fun + lightweight for summer. Kopycat 4 life.

7. On the sale front ... extra 40% off sale at LOFT, tons of new markdowns at both J.Crew Factory and Nordstrom (this dress especially caught my eye and my favorite basic t-shirts {size down} are 50% off!!). There's also a big Nike sale going on at my very favorite Nordstrom Rack. Yee haw.

And that's all she wrote - over the course of 3 summer days.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

week at a lengthy glance

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24 May 2019

1. Alright, summer 2k19 begins in earnest today and we've got no bucket lists, big plans beyond piano lessons, or even the swimsuits pulled out of storage bins quite yet. It'll be a good one but it needs to stop raining first. I foresee lots of bike rides and popsicle breaks punctuating our afternoons. Stay tuned for the inevitable excitement ...


last weekend during a break in the rain. it was glorious!

2. John Francis (Simon's cousin's son) underwent a rather risky + lengthy surgery on Tuesday and is recovering well! Thank you for your continued prayers! A Chicago news station ran another story on him, his Caringbridge page is here, and his fundraising page can be found here as well.

3. Did you see the Downton Abbey movie preview? It looks QUITE good. Simon and I (or maybe just I, don't tell Simon) are excited to finally watch Isn't It Romantic tonight. We watched Wine Country on Netflix last weekend and I was shocked that it was just kind of ... okay (at best!).

4. I read Meet Cute this week and it left a lot to be desired (although I did fly through it so obviously I didn't hate it). Back to my list of book recs I go for my next victim. Beatriz Williams is a tried and true fave so I might have to go down that road or a book I heard a lot about a few years ago might be worth giving a go - we'll see!

5. It's not surprising but I'm really enjoying Hannah's Bachelorette season so far. I feel like she's proved a lot of the naysayers wrong and it feels more like an old school season than any of the recent seasons have (a good thing, I think!). My faves are Mike and Peter the Pilot. My least favorite of all time is Luke P. Sharleen always serves the recap gold and this season is no different!

6. So many sales, so little time. Everything is 40% at LOFT with code: FINALLY. I'm loving the look of this romper + these striped pants. I ordered + loved + kept these shorts if you need some non-denim shorts!

Everything at Boden is 30% off with code: C7R2. I bought these suits for the girls (the pink + purple) so hopefully they fit and they like them (two very different things)!

I've had some good Old Navy luck lately with both this pair AND this pair of slides. Both very comfortable and cute (I think!). And even though Abe is pretty much always getting into serious mischief these days - this shirt is a cute little oxymoron on him (joke!).

Insane deal (53% off!!) on the most used appliance in our kitchen that I have no doubt will outlive me (really).

7. Nordstrom rarely has sales so when they do I like to comb through as much as much of the new new markdowns as possible. I should've added these to my pink shoe lineup - esp at that price. It might be summer but I'm always on the lookout for the perfect cardigan. I'm really hoping this dress goes on sale soon (did I see former Bachelorette Ali wearing it? Maybe, yes. Of course) but am tempted to try this one (on sale) in the mean time -- similar print, cut, and same brand.

Alright, I'll come back and add them as I see them. I've got to go see about a figurative Lakehouse.

pretty in pink

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16 May 2019

Not that my finger is even kind of on the pulse of trends or fashion but I do know that sneakers (perhaps you prefer tennis shoes?) are having the moment of all moments. I keep seeing pretty pink sneaks pop up all over the place so after bookmarking several - here we are - blog post time.

1. Vans - truth be told I've been eying this pair of Vans but the pink ones have me rethinking my inaugural Vans purchase.

2. Blush Nikes - perhaps my favorite pair of the bunch because the shade of pink is perfect - like maybe I'll paint a room in the that same color because I love it so much.

3. New Balance - I've never regretted a New Balance shoe purchase and I don't doubt that these would be any different.

4. Adidas - I have this exact pair in white and light blue and really love them. They run about a 1/2 size big which worked out well when they were all that fit my super swollen post C-section feet.

5. Reeboks - I'm wondering if I could find the girls matching pairs of these because that my seal the deal (for me - not them, I'm sure).

6. Adidas NMD - These come in 19 (!!) different color combos but only some of the options are on sale. Boo.

7. Adidas Ultraboost - love these, hate the price.

8. Adidas - appreciate that these can just be slipped on and that they are on super sale (for today, anyway)

Curious if you have a favorite (my allegiance is with two and six)!!

Happy Thursday!!

tgif

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10 May 2019


1. The sun came out today but the boys thoroughly enjoyed this weeks weather which was just much of the above picture. Sun, hear my prayer/plead and please stick around this time. Thank you.

2. The local news station did a story on John Francis and I think it's making its way around the country to other news outlets. I love how his super sweet demeanor shines even through FaceTime!

3. I have to confess that I'm still slowing making my way through Carnegie's Maid. I'm over half way through and I'm determined to finish but it just hasn't hit that easy stride quite yet. Simon stayed up LATE on a night he had to be up and at work super early in order to finish Where the Crawdads Sing and then said it was "just okay". I would believe him if he hadn't sacrificed his precious sleep to finish it. I still say it's great. I did just get Mary's new book (!!!) in the mail and am excited for the change of pace - it looks GOOD.

4. Simon and I watched the first episode of Dead to Me (on Netflix) and .... we're hooked I think? At least for another episode or two! I don't usually like dark humor but this was light enough to begin with that I think it'll be okay? We shall see! A movie that we did LOVE was Instant Family - it looks cheesy in the preview but it's super sweet and I highly recommend it!!

5. Clement will be five months old tomorrow and he's about to get kicked out of our room which has spurred a flurry of bedroom rearranging (put Abe in with the three older boys? To be determined ... and we're looking at a triple bunk for the older boys room. I've been pleasantly surprised at the variety (love the look of this one too) available but if you've seen or have one you love - let me know!

6. I ordered this dress to see if it would work for some family wedding rehearsal dinners this summer (feels a little too casual for a wedding reception? maybe not!). The color, cut, and sleeve length are all right up my alley. I also ordered these shorts taking advantage of LOFT's 40% off sale. I'll report back on both! I do expect breaths to be held and baited.

7. Everything is 50% off at J.Crew Factory. Simon asked me to buy him another pair of these pants because he wears them almost every time he has clinic. They wash and dry well and don't need to be ironed which is um - a must. He doesn't cuff them like the models but ... baby steps. I'm going on year million of loving a loose peplum anything and this shirt fits that bill quite nicely.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend and a happy Mother's Day!

May Day

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04 May 2019


1. Welllll, it seems that April flowers have given us nothing but May showers thus far - all three days of it but still - we're ready to go back to that utopian spring we had been thoroughly enjoying the past few weeks. If you give a mom some sunshine ... I suppose.

2. Aside from the gloomy weather - the week has felt heavy as we unexpectedly said goodbye (for now!) to our sweet 5yo cousin, John Francis, who is awaiting a heart transplant in Chicago for the next several months (hopefully sooner!). His older sister and Julia are bff+e and have enjoyed a school year of living just down the street and we're already anxiously awaiting their return complete with a brand new heart for John Francis. If you could spare a prayer for them we'd be most grateful! You can read more on his fundraising page as well.

3. Around here, Sebastian has taken to making involved dioramas (I had maybe heard that word once before - ever) for dinosaurs. His littlest brothers reap the benefits during the day while he's at school and baseball practice and something tells me that no shoebox will be safe from his creative clutches this summer. Diorama tutorial anyone? I'm sure he'd gladly oblige.

4. I got to a point last weekend where I couldn't put The Light We Lost down and may have even suggested we go to a later Mass so I could finish it. If you don't like unhappyish endings I would steer clear but gosh - it was GOOD. I've moved onto Carnegie's Maid and it's another slow starter but I've come to learn that those sometimes make the best book. Julia is tearing through Rise Up and her mind was totally blown when I told her I personally know some of the authors - cool mom status 4 one second.

5. Alright, you know I've been a diehard Fitbit user for almost four years and I've never once been tempted by the Apple Watch (aside from the find my phone feature!) but this Garmin is WAY too pretty not to tempt me just a tiny bit.

6. My targeted ads have gotten scarily good at predicting things I'll love and this jumpsuit is no exception. Perfection! Going to give these shorts a whirl since I love the jeans so much and Nordstrom's returns are unparalleled  and my usual pair is a little snug at the postpartum moment.

7. I went into LOFT (yes, Wichita has one!) and decided that online will forever be the way to go - it was probably just a small store though. I did try on and loved this dress but ultimately left empty-handed. I was intrigued by and wanted to try on my very first skort romper but they didn't have it in stock. I have an Everlane gift card to use and can't decide if their new tennis shoes are too orthotic and therefore trendy for me to pull off? Probably! Probably.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Easter!

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26 April 2019


Easter brunch at Aunt Mary's ... with a side of candy on candy. Photo cred to my uber talented sister-in-law, Becca!

1. Happy Easter! I hope you had a wonderful Easter that bled into a wonderful week. We enjoyed lots of family time and after years of residency and fellowship I don't think we'll ever take being close to family on holidays for granted. The kids were in absolute heaven, the weather was perfect, and Easter dinner went off without much of a hitch! It'll be a tough one to top, for sure.

2. We moved right on into Phoebes 5th (HOW?!) birthday on Tuesday. She was SO excited for her birthday and soaked up every celebratory minute. I have lots of favorite ages but Kindergarten (or almost!) is right up there with the newborn phase for me.

3. I asked trusty old IG for book recommendations and then made a list of the books I haven't yet read right over here. I started The Light We Lost and am listening to How To Find Love in a Bookshop and so far -- okay on both. I'm not very far into either one, though!

4. You know you're a real good time when you open up your computer to look up lawn mowers (Simon is even lobbying for one of the riding variety) and get distracted by a um ... flash sale on vacuum cleaners. I've read amazing things about Sharks though too ... something to contemplate for another year or two before we actually pull the trigger.

5. Did you see the preview for the new Bachelor spinoff show? At first glance - it looks right up my alley but I have yet to love any of the other spinoff shows (BIP not included) so ... we shall see!

6. When I was little I thought that heaven was literally rows upon rows of high top fuchsia converse and now that I'm older I think that's it's figuratively (and kiddingly) rows upon rows of espadrilles like these. I've never been a huge fan of J.Crew factory's shoe selection but ... suddenly I am!

7. Boden is having a 25% off sale (snagged some shorts for the girls) and LOFT is having a 50% off sale (is this becoming a monthly thing? - not complaining if so!) and my favorite postpartum jeans (the inside of the waistband is elastic) are 40% off right now!

Have a fantastic weekend!!


showers and flowers

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14 April 2019


grainy grins.

1. What a week. Two weeks, I guess. Clement and I had the pleasure of tagging along on a work trip to Tucson (sunny! sunny! glorious! Tucson!) with Simon last week and had the most wonderful time. My Fitbit (diehard 4 life) reported that I logged the best sleep I've had in months and we came back feeling so refreshed and grateful for my saint of a mom who watched the older kids. Spring sprung here shortly after which was SO nice but has since gone back into hiding. I'm hoping she makes a triumphant return for Easter. My hopes are very much up Up UP.

2. I've been trying to get to the bottom (with the help of my doctor, of course) of some recurrent and intense migraines I've been having and a brain MRI ruled out anything serious/scary this week which somehow seemed to alleviate their intensity and frequency almost immediately. I may have Dr. Googled my way into a spiral of stress and worry making said headaches much worse than they were at the outset. A visit to the chiropractor (my first!) helped too so I might need to make that a more regular thing. I also went for an eye exam and had my prescription updated for the first time in an embarrassing number of years which I'm guessing will help too. I'm trying contacts again as I'm told they've come a long way since I last tried so ... fingers crossed my extra sensitive eyes can handle them. These are all things you don't care to know but the whole thing all but dominated the past several weeks so ... you're lucky you're just getting a summative paragraph, to be honest!

3. Are you hosting an Easter meal? Any good dishes to share? I made this salad out last night to test out as a possible side. I went a little too heavy on the Sriracha otherwise I think my kids would've liked it better (although Abe ate more than Simon and I combined) but it's definitely a contender.

4. I don't think I'll read a book I love as much as I loved Where the Crawdads Sing for a long time but I'm reading The Girl He Used to Know and am thoroughly enjoying it.

5. I've been utilizing the free trial for these workouts until I work up the nerve to even try dropping Abe off at the gym daycare (he so much as hears the word, "sitter" and glues himself to my side and I don't foresee a dropoff going well at ALL) and so far? So great.

6. I was VERY pleasantly surprised by the quality of these earrings. You could keep a pair and gift the rest or go in with a friend ... so so cute and affordable. I'm still chipping away at my Amazon faves too :)

7. There's a big fat Spring Sale going on over here featuring two of my favorites: Madewell & BP (these boots!!!). These crowd favorite leggings are on super sale in my favorite length too!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

like a lamb

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31 March 2019


1. Walking into a night at the children's museum for a family friendly work dinner (thanks Simon!). The kids LOVED it and there were a bevy of adult beverages so the adults loved it too. Phoebe has declared that we should go on everyone's birthday from here on out -- we shall see, party planner P, we shall see.

2. Simon sprained his ankle playing basketball and is on "crunches" as Julia thought they were called (?! how we have failed her) for the foreseeable future. Abe is loving that Dad is forever in the perfect book reading position -- seated with an elevated foot and the rest of us are hoping it miraculously heals soon!

3. I finally started listening to Where the Crawdads Sing (am I the last person to do so? probably) and just wish I'd done so earlier because it is GOOD. I'm SO thrilled that Reese Witherspoon bought the rights to take it to the big screen and can't wait to see who gets cast and watch it come to life (trite as that may sound - ha).

4. I'm loving Rachael's little series of guest writers she's posting during her maternity leave. Rachael's blog is a wordsmith's delight and she's manage to curate quite the treat of a lineup that I'm sure you'll enjoy.

5. If you're looking for a little something to stick in your toddler/preschooler's Easter basket ... Abe (and Bosco - but Abe especially) is OBSESSED with this little set my mom gave him. Kids LOVE a good non-toy toy.

6. I was actually excited to tell you about a few things I bought and kept (a rarity) this week so here I go ...

+ it's not often that the steal beats the splurge but these Everlane knockoffs (the originals - which I have and like) but Old Navy .... you done good. They are lighter weight and so much better for summer/spring temps.

+ I've read and read and read how much people love this midnight recovery concentrate so I got a sample and kind of hate to say how much I love it too because it's not cheap. I'm going to be prudent and finish off the various oils I have first but - it's amazing.

+ These earrings are so cute and great quality for the price!

+ And finally this mist I mentioned last week is just as good as I'd hoped. Super natural looking, impossible to screw up, and doesn't smell like death (as they can).

7. It's been a long time since LOFT has done a 50% + free shipping sale (use code: CYBER) ... and they're doing one! Always lots to love but especially when it's all half off.

Boden is having a big spring sale plus an additional 20% off (only until tonight) with code: 4B9J. These are my favorite shirts for the boys because they last forever and look great right out of the dryer (even if they sat in said dryer for a few days, ahem). 

Alright, that's ALL. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!!

clicklist

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21 March 2019


1. If he looks like he's suddenly doubled in weight it's because he has. Almost. Almostish. He's in his happiest habitat that is his ... bedtime ruining catnap. It's becoming a bad habit that we'll have to sort out soon but for now - it's forgivable. Heart emoji.

2. The kids had their spring break last week and nothing like a little spring break time to realize I need to get my summer time plan in gear. Simon took some time off which was SO nice and overall we enjoyed the downtime but the Y membership we used almost daily back in Tampa is starting to sound like a smart summer move.

3. The weather is starting to turn and I don't use this word lightly so know that I mean it when I say it has been nothing short of GLORIOUS. Getting the little boys out for walks in the morning, thinking (thinking!) about replacing all the dead vegetation in our pots and planters (any easy flower recs very welcome), and trading out bulky coats for um - slightly less bulky outerwear has been real nice.

4. I'm not sure if you remember my little melanoma scare (well, not so much a scare as an actual diagnosis since cut out and left a nasty neck scar) last year? Probably not - as you shouldn't BUT I'm going to be turning into even more of a sunscreen/hat/long sleeve swimsuit freak than I was before but you know what? I still want a little (safe!) color and after hearing about it and reading many-a-review ... I grabbed this stuff and then saw that this primer is on super sale and talked myself into that too. This was a long paragraph to tell you those minor little details. I'll keep you posted what I think about them both!

5. I'm sad to say I've got no book recommendations this week because I've been a big fat slacker with absolute no excuse. I think I'm going to try listening to a book this next week because I do miss getting lost in a good or mediocre or even below average book!

6. If you're in the market for an Easter Basket (or two or more) - I always love World Market's selection. A lot of them don't look especially Easter-y (but plenty of them do!) and can be used to decorate in the off season which is always nice.

7. On the sale front -

a lot of LOFT's new arrivals are 40% off (also these 1/2 off sunglasses!!)

Old Navy continues to kill it (this jumpsuit is right up my alley) and ALL shorts are 50% off today (ordered these!)

Target's Who What Wear line is is 30% off and this cardigan looks and feels so much pricier than it is (button detail on the sleeves)!

Okay, that's all for now!!

Have a great Friday + weekend!!

Taking Care Of Mom

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20 March 2019

The postpartum period is always a tricky time. It's natural for all of the focus and attention to be on the much anticipated, adorable, and wonderful newborn baby and easy to forget Mom's recovery time and healing necessitated by delivering said adorable baby.  I'm always focused on finding our new rhythm and routine as quickly as possible postpartum which sometimes means cutting sleeping corners when I should be resting and stressing about silly things that shouldn't matter at 9 days/2 weeks/etc postpartum. I'm sure you can relate. I always remind myself that I've never looked back and wished I would've gotten my act together soon - I always wish I'd taken it easier and enjoyed the fleeting newborn days a little bit more. 

My OBs have always stressed the importance of keeping up with my prenatal vitamin regimen at my postpartum visits and I'll admit that sometimes I do and sometimes it falls off the priority list and ... I don't. So! The timing of the opportunity to try out and share about Care/of Vitamin's genius personalized service felt very fortuitous. 


I took a quick five minute quiz to determine the best vitamins for my needs and a few days later my 30 day supply arrived at the ready! The quiz was easy but in depth and asked exactly the right questions about my current health needs and goals (how much sleep am I getting? how often do I feel stressed? am I looking for healthier hair, skin, and nails? am I nursing? etc ... )


Each packet has a new quote on it ranging from funny to inspirational and the first one I read gave me a little cackle, "You can't be the kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute." - Tina Fey (always a great way to start my day!).

With Spring right around the corner (hallelujah) and being cleared to exercise post c-section I'm slowly dipping my feet back into the figurative exercise pool for both my mental and physical health. Healthy living is a domino effect for me and if I'm making the time to take vitamins and make healthier food choices I'm more likely to be motivated to be more active and make the time to exercise. I've noticed a significant change in my energy levels and mood ever since starting my Care/of regimen and wish I'd started sooner.


I love that Care/of is flexible and your packets can be switched up month to month. Next month I'm going to request some vitamin D and down the road when I don't need my prenatal vitamin anymore - switch to an appropriate multivitamin.

What's in my current packets ...


Everything was explained in detail and I appreciate that if I choose to stop taking something next month - I don't have a 1/2 (or more!) empty bottle of whatever left to expire and go to waste leftover.


The kids and I all reap the benefits of my healthier routine and mornings go a lot smoother around here too!

If you're curious, take the quiz, get your personalized vitamin recommendation, and use my code CAMP50 for a whopping 50% off (!!!) this month only - click here!

Many thanks to Care/of for sponsoring this post!

like a lion

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10 March 2019



the daytime crew + I've never thought Abe and Bosco look all that alike until this photo.

1. March made good on her seasonal promise last week bringing the most snow the most we've seen this winter and now I'm counting on her lamb-like exit. Big time.

2. My sister gave my brother a bunch of packets of mushroom coffee (hear me out) for Christmas but he left them here and then said I could have them. SO I've been drinking it and as someone who hates instant coffee and mushrooms I have to say that I love the coffee. I just use the hot water from our coffee maker and add an unreasonable amount of frothed oat milk (same amount I add to regular coffee) and get the energy without the weird buzz, if that makes sense? I'm hoping that as it (likely?) spreads in popularity it will become a little more affordable too.

3. I'm reading Otherwise Engaged and I thought I'd love it after reading so many people rave about it but I just kind of like it - so far. Time will tell though! Abe has become completely enamored with this monstrosity of a book and while I love it too -- it's LONG. So, I found this less fragile and much more compact version that he can take to bed and (hopefully) not tear to shreds. Win/win.

4. Alright, I have to say that even though we saw the Fence Jump (capitalization necessary) 230948294 times in previews ... I was actually pretty surprised by the actual episode and feel bad for Colton (but don't vilify Cassie like a lot of people seem to be doing) and cannot wait for the finale next week. There were so many hilarious memes that had me very literally LOLing on Tuesday too. I'm not super sold on anyone for Bachelorette but if the rumors are true - I'm neutral positive on that development.

5. Oh! Thank you thank you thank you for all of your wonderful First Communion dress recs last week. It's surprisingly tough to find a dress that doesn't look like a miniature wedding dress but I'm feeling more confident we'll find something that fits the seemingly simple bill. If you're in a similar boat check the comments on this post.

6. Not a sale but I took a chance on an Amazon skirt and love it. If in between sizes - size down. And speaking of Amazon - I made a little storefront uh well, I'm working on a storefront but here's what it's looking like so far! 

7. 40% off full price items at J.Crew and an additional 50% off sale styles -- yee haw. I'm glad I waited on this sweater and if you don't have some version of these slippers yet - GET THEM. So worth it at this price, I promise. Oh! And I can't believe I'm saying this but I was having a hard time finding a pair of 7/8 length navy leggings that are high waisted and stay up and Old Navy - of all places - pulled through in the best way.

Alright - have a wonderful week!

the pink bathroom (with a side of floor painting)

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01 March 2019

ALRIGHT.

Where to begin? The kids' bathroom is very pink (right down to the toilet paper holder) and honestly - I don't hate it. Would I love it if the pink was a little more muted (dare I say millennial?) and a little less pepto? Of course! But, the tile is in great shape and the tub is weirdly long and the shower has great water pressure and while it's dated - its functional and could be SO much worse. We'd love to remodel it down the road but for now it's perfect for lots of kids to smear toothpaste and splash ocean sized waves out the side of the tub. I'd also like to think they'll share, "remember our pink bathroom?!" stories of yon when they're older - let me dream.

Here's the before ...


(my one regret is not getting a million better before pictures - I snagged this from the listing)

However - I know people disagree with me on this but the barky wallpaper just wasn't my cup of tea and the curtains left the bathroom feeling too BUSY - to my untrained eye. The hallway just outside the bathroom is super dark because it gets almost no natural light so I wanted to brighten this up and let the tile have her time to shine so we (Simon) stripped the wallpaper (fabric softener and warm water in a spray bottle seemed to be the best method) and gave the walls a few coats of Simply White. I tackled the trim and the radiator cover with the same color and even painted then stenciled the floor.



{all sources also listed/linked here!)

I read somewhere that it's important to have some element of wood in a room to "warm it up" (I honestly probably saw this in an Instagram caption, took it as Gospel Truth, and ran with it during a Labor Day Sale) which is why I thought the stool was the perfect addition. I can throw the rug (bathmat?) in the washer and dryer which keeps it looking ~new and I appreciate that fact quite a bit. 


Let's talk about the floor for a not-so-brief minute. I think I'm being generous when I give the look of the final product a 4 on a scale of 1-10. I think the painting and stenciling on a floor that wasn't perfect squares (our master bathroom floor was a million times easier to tackle on actual squares) as my first foray into floor stenciling was stupid but how was I supposed to know? I'd do things differently (and am hoping to repaint this floor soon) and I do mourn the weeks of hours I'll never get back but, it was a great learning experience - cry/laughing emoji. 

Briefly: 

1. I scrubbed the floor and took a bottle of Goof Off (worked so much better than Goo Gone, for some reason) to the leftover + stubborn adhesive around the border of the floor (guessing they have stick on tiles at some point?). 

2. I primed it once just using a regular paint brush to "cut in" around the room's perimeter and then rolled it with a standard paint roller which went super fast. 

3. After letting that dry I did three (maybe overkill) coats of garage floor epoxy that I (bought at Lowes and had them tint it the only white that they could - they have a little brochure behind the paint counter with the tiny selection of epoxy tint colors) using the same brush/roller method which also went pretty fast!

4. I used this stencil and followed the directions on the Cutting Edge website and found the process to be easy but tedious. I wish I hadn't followed the "use adhesive" directions because it built up super quickly on the stencil and I spent a lot of time peeling and cleaning and drying the stencil and I think it made the floor look and feel kind of tacky before I was able to steam mop it several times. So - I didn't use the adhesive when I did the master bathroom it and it went SO much better!

5. I brought a bunch of paint chips home and tried to match that thin line of grey tile and bought a quart of flat paint in the best match. Maybe that was too much of a matchy/match mentality but ... what's done is done and when I restencil I'll use the same color. 

6. To finish/seal it off I did three coats (with ample drying time between) of polycrylic in clear satin. It's only been a little over five months since I painted the floor but it's held up just fine. I steam mop it a lot (not as much as I should) and it hasn't chipped even with that stool being dragged all over the floor c/o Abe. 


I was a little stumped over what kind of art to hang up and I wanted to contrast the pink with some sort of greenery so I went with these mounted vases. I only put a few up to start but lots of people (on Instagram) said I should hang more and I'm pretty sure that was the right route to take? I reserve the right to change my mind and take a few down though - ha.

I found some of the vases at West Elm and this one and the smaller/skinnier ones on Amazon but to give them the same matte finish as the West Elm vases I did paint the Amazon vases with primer which took about 45 seconds per vase and was well worth the extra step for the uniformity - I think. I found the plants at Hobby Lobby and on Amazon.


I still need to find a little something to hang over the towel rack over here, I think. It's LOW on my priority list, though!


And that's all she typed! Overall - I'm pretty pleased with how the whole things turned out. I walk by the bathroom several times a day and so far don't have any regrets (other than the floor issues I talked about)! I hate to end blog posts with questions because it feels disingenuous but I would love to hear if you have a pink bathroom and if you kept it or gave it the axe!

TGIFF(inally)!!

24 February 2019


1. We are deep in the throes of fort building weather/season over here - I'm sure a lot of you are in the same boat (or shall I say fort? laugh/notlaugh). It's a good thing I haven't Kondo'd (actual verb) all of our mostly useless blankets because the kids put them ALL to good use these days. Someone messaged me about this cool contraption(s) and it's going high on the Christmas slash joint birthday list.

2. Last week, it warmed up enough for me to take the three little boys on a walk and it just might've been the highlight of 2k19 thus far. I know we've got some serious weeks of winter to get through but I'm gunning for any other hints of spring time weather. Big time.

3. I couldn't resist a little fun, breezy, beach-y read that I kept seeing pop on my IG feed and so far? So decent. Definitely one to tuck away if you want a little mental breather in the face of our current and my 4th favorite season. Alright, finished it last night thanks to Clement's multiple wake ups and while I might have give a word of PG-13 rated warning - I enjoyed it despite the ending feeling a little abrupt? To me at least.

4. No one is more surprised than I am by saying that I'm going on blog record as saying I wouldn't mind seeing Hannah B as the Bachelorette. I really like Cassie but Colton seems to be the most into her and I hope he picks her (but professed the old, "I'm falling in love with you" to Hannah G in a deleted scene floating around FB right now SO who knows). If you're not an avid Bachelor fan - my apologies for this paragraph. I enjoyed Colton on Kaitlyn's podcast this past week - he's definitely growing on me bit by teeny tiny bit. Okay, DONE.

5. Forts/weather/Bachelor -- this is making for an exciting blog post, as always. Let's spice it up with a question about where one might find a good quality and not a flower girl type First Communion dress (for Julia). I've been trying to find some on Etsy to no avail. If only my sewing skills were even close to good enough to make one for her but - they're not. If you've found a nice one or know of a shop - please let me know!

6. I haven't seen LOFT do a 40% + 10% off sale in a while but .. they're doing one NOW.  I'm especially loving this pretty top + these fun earrings.

7. Not sure if you remember my quest to find jeans that the boys would wear (of COURSE you do L to the O to the L) but I found them! Sebastian is a little more willing to wear denim that zips up and buttons like jeans tend to do but Theo & Bosco love these. I always spotted this top that I'm so tempted to get for the girls but I worry I might jinx the advent of spring. Maybe not though.

Alright, meant to get this out the internet on Friday but here we sit on Sunday. Hoping to get a post about one of the bathroom mini makeovers up this week! See you then!

Clement's Birth Story

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13 February 2019

Let's just dive right in.

So, approximately one month before Clement was born when I was about 31 weeks along I had an ultrasound to make sure the baby was still growing at a healthy rate and to follow up on the teeniest of concerns that maybe a Vasa Previa was a brewing. Simon wasn't at all concerned and neither was I so when the high risk doctor came in (who happens to share an office with Simon so Simon could be there too ... perk of the job!) to explain that the Vasa Previa wasn't budging and that he recommended a scheduled c-section between 34-37 weeks I was pretty surprised. We were assured that the outcomes are pretty darn good with early detection + scheduled c-section and the catastrophic outcomes often come when you go into labor and then discover the pesky Vasa Previa.

I'll admit that a sliver of my mom brain jumped right to all the logistics of a baby coming a month early and before Christmas vs. after Christmas which might sound heartless but if you have kids and you don't finish shopping in July and don't do all the fun and festive things and don't decorate the day after Halloween .. you feel me. But, the vast majority of my sentiments fell into the grateful category. Grateful that it had been detected early and extra grateful for modern medicine.

I mentally chopped my project/paint to-do list down to a manageable size and grilled my friends who had had c-sections about what to expect in terms of recovery and became my usual insomniac third trimester self.

Clement had been measuring nice and big (just like Abe - who turned out to be my biggest baby by FAR) on ultrasound so I wasn't concerned that he or she was going to be teeny tiny. And other than my usual Braxton Hicks marathons I showed no signs of going into labor so the month leading up to the delivery felt relatively stress-free on the medical front. I got the steroid shots to help his lungs about a week before the c-section and Simon was able to move his patients and surgeries around which was admittedly convenient about a delivery being scheduled.

We'd scheduled the c-section for early morning on December 11th which was one day shy of 36 weeks and about as long as my doctor was comfortable with waiting. Theo had been born right at 37 weeks and did really well so while one week isn't nothing - I was feeling cautiously optimistic and stupidly hopeful about the baby spending little to no time in the NICU so as to get me home and back in ~working order for the older kids.

Lots of typing and no birthing, Grace.

Alright.

December 11th. We made the short drive to the hospital and got all checked in at 4am. Our (very old and very faulty) car alarm randomly wouldn't stop blaring and we were terrified that we'd get pulled over for auto theft (we didn't and Simon fixed the alarm later that day) so any nerves I had about the delivery were thankfully distracted by Bonnie-Grace and Clyde-Simon.

I got my IVs (two! a first for me) placed, got gowned up, hairnet secured to my head, and away we rolled. Simon did hundreds of c-sections during residency so knowing he was completely familiar with the situation helped keep my mind at ease. He wasn't going to be scrubbing in and wielding a scalpel or anything insane but it was nice that the OR territory was only uncharted for one of us.

Getting the spinal felt pretty much identical to getting an epidural but my lower two thirds were completely numb vs semi-numb and moveable. I voiced my concern that I would be the one person that actually feels every single bit of the c-section but the nurse anesthetist assured me he had never seen that happen. I felt sufficiently assured and appreciated that my arms didn't have to be strapped down like I'd heard could be a possibility.

After a few minutes of some tugging and pressure I felt immediate relief and could breathe easier (I swear my babies like to live in my rib cage) and Simon exclaimed, "it's a .... boy!!"  which shocked him and did not shock me. He felt certain we were having a girl and I felt certain we were having a boy. I immediately teared up with all the happy + relieved tears as one tends to do after you have a baby and started to wonder if he was okay because I heard zero baby cries. Simon told me he definitely was and they brought him over almost immediately.


My doctor guessed he was six pounds and three ounces which wasn't too far off as he weighed in at six pounds and one ounce. He was so calm and chill which was so different from a lot of our other newborns (Simon still claims Julia was the most angry baby he's ever encountered post-delivery). It took a bit to get all put back together and my wonderful OB reconfirmed how important the c-section was after showing us that both the umbilical cord and placenta were laying super low. At one point I thought I felt short of breath and momentarily freaked out but I was kindly reminded that if I could talk -- I could breathe. L to the O to the L, hypochondriac patient alive and well.



We had pretty much agreed that if we had a boy we'd name him Clement in honor of Simon's mom (you might remember the following prayer she scripted that was handed out at her funeral last December) ...


... but had a tough time coming up with a middle name. Finally toward the end of my pregnancy "Joseph" just sort of clicked although don't think I didn't try to throw some wild and crazy middle name contenders Simon's way. Simon was pulling for Clementine if we had a girl and I wasn't completely sold despite the fact that I love the name (I just love a lot of girl names). So, Clement Joseph he was! And still is, actually. 

Back to the OR. Anesthesia gave me what was essentially a block on my stomach to help the pain as the spinal wore off and it worked initially but then ... it did not. We spent our time in the recovery room trying to get Clement to latch which he did in between long naps. I was feeling pretty okay at that point and excited to get to my actual hospital room and have at least some of the kids come meet him.


The kids were all SO excited to meet him but I'd be lying if I told you Phoebe's face didn't fall when she realized he was a boy. She'd had many a dream that the baby was a girl and figured her dreams didn't lie, I guess. She looked at me and said, "we have SO MANY BOZE" (boze = boys although she's since learned to pronounce boy correctly which is really actually quite sad) but quickly came around and is always telling me she thinks Clement, "just needs a boob" when he's crying and she's usually not wrong.


Abe was very intrigued and not much has changed since then.

Clement was doing really well post delivery and we really thought he'd be coming home with me a few days later but he ended up needing some oxygen and observation in the NICU for a week two days after he was born. This is where I need to apologize to both c-section moms and parents that have dealt with babies in the NICU because I had absolutely no idea how difficult either one would be.


sweetest/saddest

I could dedicate a whole series to how brutal I felt my recovery was BUT I think it was actually pretty average which is to say that it was really painful and I don't think the many walks/shuffles back and forth to and from the NICU in between trying to pump an ounce at a time helped much. Leaving Clement at the hospital after I was discharged was the most difficult thing I've ever done (which is to say that I've had a pretty easy breezy life) but it was so nice to get back home to the kids and my own bed.

I had to start sending Simon to visit/feed Clement when I knew the NICU doctors were doing their rounds in the mornings because it felt like every day they tacked on, "a few more days" to his stay due to weight loss and it was getting hard not to break down into a puddle of tears every time. But, of course! He was eventually discharged and has been doing so well and gaining weight like a little champ.


I'm a little over two months out and feel mostly like myself again. Exactly one week after Clement was born Phoebe had her Christmas program at school and I was so distracted because I was still in so much pain and felt like maybe I'd never feel better or like myself again because I'd had such easy recoveries from all of my other births. But, as usual - I was wrong and the recovery was just a slow (and pretty normal) one. He was 110% worth it and I'd do it again and again to have him here. I try not to let myself think about what would've happened had I spontaneously gone into labor ... so I don't!

And, that's the pretty undramatic birth story! I would definitely take hours + hours of pushing out an OP baby over a c-section recovery (although I have a friend that told me her VBAC recovery was so much worse than her c-section recoveries) so many and mad props to you ladies who've weathered multiple c-sections - you're all warriors.


And with that ... I'll say, "the end" and wish you a very Happy Galentine's Day :)

checking in!

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30 January 2019

1. HEY! I had a baby! Well over a month ago and I'm sorry I didn't alert the masses via blog medium but I have been sufficiently obnoxious about him over on good old Instagram. I remember long ago when someone predicted Instagram would kill blogs and I feigned a horrified-hand-to-chest move because I didn't think it would ever be possible but welcome to 2019, Grace No Foresight Patton.


We'll pretend these are Valentine's PJs vs the Christmas truth.

2. So, the baby! His name is Clement Joseph and he was born on Dec 11th last year. He weighed six pounds and one ounce and I should probably save all of that for his birth story that I'm in the middle of typing (but would rather pound out a quick hello than actually finish it because my charism is procrastination) but I swear (by the moon and the stars in the sky) that the next post I publish will definitely be his birth story.

3. He's seven weeks old and I'm feeling hopeful that we'll establish some semblance of a schedule SOON. Or ... soonish at the very least. We've had our best week yet and I even started flirting with the idea of painting our back stairwell once said routine is established. Maybe. But - baby steps Grace, teeny tiny baby steps.

4. I've been ITCHING (yes, all caps is necessary) to blog and have lots of house photos to share but blogging naturally takes a back seat to everything else these days. Maybe I should stop waking up 2 seconds before I need to get the kids up for school or make better use of the time after the kids have gone to bed -- novel concepts! I'll figure it out.

5. Have you read anything you couldn't put down lately? I keep hearing about how wonderful Where the Crawdads Sing is and that's next on my docket after I finish Hard Times for book club. We watched both Fyre Festival documentaries and were "befumbled" (to take a made up word from Hannah B from the Bachelor) but have not watched Marie Kondo's show quite yet.

6. I have to begrudgingly admit that I'm liking Colton so much more than I thought I would when he was announced as the Bachelor. My favorites are Cassie and Elyse (I saw on her IG that one of her rose ceremony dresses cost her $4.50 from Goodwill - amazing!) but I like Hannah G too. Sharleen never disappoints, of course!

7. I ordered these jeans to try to motivate me to get out of my daily uniform of ... maternity sweat pants (those are a thing - and they are wonderful) and .. it worked! Two sizes up from my normal size and I ordered the petite so they were more of an ankle length which I prefer and I love them. I was pleased to see Old Navy has jumped on the neckerchief train too - I might have to give that trend a go. I keep seeing people share these Lululemon dupes from Amazon and I'm wondering if they might be a nice transition out of maternity sweats while possibly motivating me to exercise on occasion (I'm loving the free Pop Sugar Fitness videos on Facebook - for the one of you that hasn't seen them!)? Wondering ... we'll see if they live up to the hype!

Hope you're staying warm wherever you are! It's supposed to warm up here this weekend but that seems impossible because it's SO cold right now!

Happy Wednesday!!

 

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